Hatters defender Bree determined to end his 'frustrating' season with a strong finish

Full back wants to start the final 10 matches after injury-hit campaign

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:24 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:28 pm
James Breen wheels away after opening the scoring against Coventry on Tuesday night
James Breen wheels away after opening the scoring against Coventry on Tuesday night

Town defender James Bree is determined to finish what has been a ‘frustrating’ season personally for the full back on a high note.

The 23-year-old moved to Luton from Aston Villa permanently in the summer after an excellent end to the previous campaign under boss Nathan Jones when on loan at Kenilworth Road, with the aim of being Hatters' first choice right back.

However, he picked up an injury against Derby County early on which kept him out for almost two months, as his first Championship start came in December during the 2-0 defeat at Swansea.

He then was sidelined once more, coming back for the 1-0 FA Cup win over Reading, as he started five matches in a row, before a calf problem struck.

Bree then came back in for the 3-0 defeat at Stoke, dropping down to the bench afterwards, until a recall for last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Swansea.

Keeping his place on Tuesday night against Coventry saw Bree open the scoring with his first career goal, as after a season with just 15 appearances in total, including seven league starts, Bree said: “I’m buzzing (to be back).

"It has been a real frustrating year for me this year, coming back from injury and then getting injured again, having little niggles, I haven’t really felt myself all year.

"But I’m getting there, my legs are getting back and with the last 10 games, hopefully I can play every game and going into next year I’ll be fine.”

Boss Nathan Jones is also hopeful of the same impact, as he said: “I’m delighted for James Bree as he’s had a stop-start season.

"We bought him in to be a real progressive right back and he’s starting to gather a bit of momentum with that.

"If he only believes in himself a little bit more, we’ve got some player on our hands, but he's gathering momentum.”

Bree’s first goal set Town on their way to a 2-0 win over struggling Coventry City in midweek, lifting the Hatters up to 14th in the table.

Although the Sky Blues had some glorious chances in the first period, Max Biamou missing two one-on-ones, they had to play the second half with 10 men, centre half Kyle McFadzean sent off for handball on the goal-line.

They made a decent fist of if following the interval, but Town soon wrested the initiative back and should have won by plenty more, missing a host of chances late on.

Bree added: “They were saying it wasn’t handball, I’d have to see, but it’s nice decisions have gone our way as you need a bit of luck in this league and I don’t feel we’ve had it for a while.

“We always knew they were going to come out and press and get on the ball as they were down to 10 men, they’ve got nothing to lose.

"They had a couple of chances as well, but I thought we dealt with them really well, so it was good.

“We went in at half time and said keep doing everything the same, put them under pressure, channel balls and it could have been four or five at the end.

"(Sam) Nombe’s had a good chance, Collo’s (James Collins) had a good couple of chances when he come on, there were others too/

"It’s frustrating, but a win’s a win at the end of the day, and we did enough to get the three points.”